Lawmakers warned against partisan politics

Lawmakers warned against partisan politics
Dr. Kennedy Gaaniko, Deputy Governor of Western Equatoria State (WES), speaks to the legislators during their swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday in Yambio, the state capital. [Courtesy Photo]

Western Equatoria State Deputy Governor has warned State Members of Parliament against “partisan politics”.

Dr. Kennedy Gaaniko instead urged the legislatures to provide service to all citizens’ without show of bias.

“As you take the oath of office, I must remind you that you are here today to represent the people of this state. You are the community’s voice.

“You are speaking on behalf of the people of Western Equatoria State, not your political faction,” he said.

Gaaniko made the remarks on Wednesday during the swearing-in of 18 lawmakers in the  Western Equatoria State Legislature.

The MPs were among the 100 lawmakers previously appointed in a presidential decree.

Ganniko stated parliamentarians have a serious responsibility to play in alleviating citizens’ suffering and restoring trust in their government.

“However, for our people to trust us, you must act in their best interests. Forget about the interests of your political party. Citizens’ interests should come first, followed by other considerations,” he stated.

Regardless of their political background, Dr. Ganniko asked the MPs to work together as people of Western Equatoria State.

He reiterated the need for unity to achieve enduring peace in the state.

Also, he directed the lawmakers to push for the implementation of the remaining tasks in the revitalized peace agreement, to pave the way for the country’s development.

Meanwhile, Wakila Charles, the Rt. Hon. The Speaker of the State Legislature called on the MPs to work closely with the executive in delivering services and sustainable peace in the area.

“Our priority as state legislators is to ensure peace and stability in the state, particularly in areas that have been afflicted by insecurity and need to see that peace is restored throughout the state,” Wakila said.

Despite the fact that the members are not fully sworn in, she said the house will go ahead with the plan to select chairpersons for the specialized committees.

About 79 Western Equatoria State Legislatures took oaths of office in March 2022, but  21 were left out due to issues with party representation, particularly the Other Political Parties (OPP) and the South Sudanese Opposition Alliance (SSOA).

With the swearing-in of the 18 MPs, the total number of parliamentarians has risen to 97 out of the expected 100 seats. Three seats are still vacant.